Recently there was a report by Eric Olson on Channel 21 about the possible acquisition of land by Ivy Tech of the WWI Veterans Memorial Park to make room for more “sports complexes.” Like Fort Wayne needs more “sports complexes!” This is nothing more than a prostitution of hallowed ground in memory of American Patriotic Heroism. Following are a few anecdotes of The Great War, I am sure those at Ivy Tech are not aware of:
Harry Truman — he was disqualified for service due to poor eyesight. So he memorized the eye chart, took it again and later became a Captain in the AEF.
Walt Disney — at 16 he was too young to serve in the U.S. Army, so he became an ambulance driver, arriving in France soon after the armistice.
Ernest Hemingway — he joined the Red Cross and was an ambulance driver on the Italian front.
Women in the military — 13,000 enlisted in the Navy and Marines
Baseball players — nearly 800 professional and top amateur players enlisted, from the Army to the Marines to the Chemical Services.
Cher Ami — despite being shot and blinded in one eye, this pigeon delivered a message that helped save 200 soldiers of the Lost Battalion.
1,100 — number of Marines killed or wounded on June 6, 1918 on the first day of the Battle of Belleau Wood in France.
And just one more — 26,000 — the number of Americans who died in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, the deadliest battle in U.S. history.
My point in all of this? Ivy Tech, keep your hands off this memorial to the American patriots who gave their all so that Europe would be free. Go find someplace else to put your “sports complex” — like where the sun don’t shine. I am one Marine DAV you should not have crossed.
I am calling on all American Legion Posts and their members, all VFW Posts and their members and any other Patriotic Americans living in the northeastern region of Indiana to inundate Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry’s office with telephone calls, letters and emails to stop this affront. I also encourage those people to do the same to the Fort Wayne City Council, the president of Ivy Tech, and to enlist the aid of U.S. Senators Todd Young and Joe Donnelly as well as U.S. Congressman Jim Banks.
Note to Ivy Tech — hands off the WWI Memorial Park. Got it?